Search intensifies for Shante - Residents scour community to locate missing child
Eight-year-old Shante Skyers was expected to participate in a track and field meet on Saturday, but the Red Hills Primary School student did not get a chance to shine as she has been reported missing since last Thursday.
Her coach and physical education teacher, Phillip Anderson, describes her as one of the fastest athletes on the team.
He was among the persons that scoured the hills of Sterling Castle Heights yesterday in search of the youngster.
According to some of the residents, she was last seen sheltering from the rain on the steps of a bar. But others claimed to have seen her walking through a popular pathway that leads to her home.
"She is one of my best students and this has touched me to my core. We have searched high and low through this track but we have not seen a clue as to what may have happened," Anderson said.
According to the Jamaica Constabulary Force, Shante left home for school about 7 a.m. last Thursday, wearing a navy-blue tunic, a white blouse and black shoes.
She has not been seen or heard from since. However, a teacher at the school confirmed that the grade three student completed her classes at the institution that day.
Too overcome with grief was Shante's mother Crystal Service, who wailed uncontrollably yesterday before fainting. She had to be rushed to hospital to get medical attention.
Shante's father, Fabian Skyers, although stronger, was a picture of anguish, as he stood with a crowd outside the Red Hills Square Police Station.
"A mi only daughter and first child. A she make me know say mi could a have youth, enuh. She a the apple a mi eye and mi likkle baby that, and mi don't know why someone would waan take her. Unuh please just give me back mi baby. Mi is not a rich man but if a money unuh want, mi willing to give all that mi have," he said.
While Skyers waited hopelessly on the police to join the search party, some residents used debris to block sections of the west rural St Andrew community.
They hurled insults at the police and more affluent residents, who they said are paying little attention to the matter.
"Nuff a the people dem who live in the mansions who are very influential, them pass us with them window up cuz dem don't want us to ask them anything. Yet still if them poodle go missing, you see posters all over," an angry woman shouted.
As the residents searched tirelessly for Shante, they were told by the police that they would be assisting with the search.
But up to when the news team was leaving the area, no lawmen had joined the search party.
According to Skyers, he and others had gone on several wild goose chases as he tried to locate his daughter.
Several members of a church yesterday prayed for Shante's safe return as the search continued along the pathway.
Residents say that the pathway, although heavily wooded, is a regular shortcut in the community.
"Mi a big man and is here so mi a walk from mi a likke bwoy to go school and anywhere else mi would wa go. No one has ever been abducted here ever. If we ever know a who do it, a jungle justice we a go deal with because nobody no sleep good from Thursday night. Shante is a nice little girl and she no deserve this," a man said.